How many times have you got close to winning that sale and then it just never happened. Were you on the mission critical list? Did you ask the question?

Every vendor whatever they have to sell faces the challenge to get their hands on the money. In pursuit of that, the focus is on justifying why that money should be allocated to their proposal rather than any other and there is always competition for money for a range of projects. So you are not just competing against others that you deem ‘competitors’ but also other projects that need funding.

Know your mission

What if a customer were asked to classify what they consider to be ‘mission critical’ and for that matter ‘mission support’. That would reveal what separates one from the other and in turn provide clues to your chance of success.

These ‘mission’ terms are usually associated with the military yet they have a place in commerce as well. A quick look at Wikipedia describes mission critical as: any factor of a system (components, equipment, personnel, process, procedure, software, etc.) that is essential to business operation or to an organisation.

I can find no Wikipedia definition for mission support.

I’m interested to create a list of what is ‘ITC’ mission critical. My starter for 10. ERP (a finance system for SME). CRM. eMail. Website (the list is incomplete of course). I know some organisations that allocate 80%+ of their annual budgets to ERP and CRM so that does not leave much for anything that is not deemed mission critical.

What does that mean for those that are not mission critical? Thin pickings?

What’s on the table?

According to industry sources IT spending in 2016 is forecast at $2.3 trillion. IDC predict the rate of growth is slowing to 2% (2016) from a healthy 5 to 6% over the past six years. Does that put more squeeze on anything that is not mission critical?

So if you are not mission critical, even if you think you are, how do you attach to what is mission critical is vital and know (and have references) what the corresponding economic benefit of that is to a customer?


Where do you start looking for mission critical? I suggest that ecosystems are a good place, they are an economy in their own right and customers attach to them. Who are those ecosystems?

Here is my list:








The combined market cap of these businesses is a staggering $2.5Tn (28/7/16). To put that in context UK GDP for 2015 was reported as $2.84Tn.

One more thing, they all deliver services in the Cloud, the daddy of ecosystems.

Did I miss anyone?

Question #1: how many of these ecosystems are you part of?

Question #2: should SAP, Oracle and IBM be on the list?

Mission over for today.